New leadership, building add up to new start for Detroit Animal Control

Times have changed for the better at Detroit Animal Care and Control.
The old director has been out for months, ousted amidst a lawsuit and allegations of misconduct.  And now, a fresh start in a new building under new leadership.

"I came from the world of disaster response," said Melissa Miller. "So at times this has been a lot, but also I'm so inspired by how much community cares about their animals."

The new building donated by the Michigan Humane Society is cutting down on the overcrowding.  No more stacked kennels and in turn, a safer, healthier environment, says Director Melissa Miller.

"They can stand up, turn around, move back and forth," she said.

And the dogs that do stay here don't stay here forever anymore.

"We currently have a live release rate of 62 percent which is just about up triple from last year," Miller said.

One thing that hasn't changed is the need that it responds to.

"Phones are ringing off the hook all the time," Miller said. "And sometimes we have only one or two people answering those phones."

Eight to 22 dogs are brought in a day. With that volume and only 13 people on staff, calls are prioritized.

"There is a very big difference between 'Hey there is a stray meandering down the road' and 'A dog chased my son home from school,'" Miller said.

The DACC is planning to double the staff in coming weeks and are making an effort to keep the dog and cat population in check.

One of best ways to keep the shelter from overcrowding is get your dog or cat spayed or neutered and they have low cost options to do that.

That includes partnering with other Detroit-based animal agencies to go into the community with a pro-active approach. 

All parties agree this is a quite a turn around for a rescue agency that as of a year ago, was in need of a rescue itself.

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